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Boomwhackers Tuned Percussion Tubes are lightweight, hollow, color-coded, plastic tubes, tuned to musical pitches by length. They are used as musical instruments in the percussion family. They were first produced by Craig Ramsell in 1995. A large pile of pentatonic boomwhackers Contents 1 Sound Production 2 Usage 3 Usage in Group Rhythm Events 4 History 5 Inventor 6 External links Sound Production Boomwhackers produce musical tones when struck together, on the floor, or against nearly any surface. They can also be struck with mallets in different configurations, in specialized holders (homemade or available from the manufacturer), similar to a horizontally-aligned xylophone. When one end of a Boomwhackers tube is covered with what the manufacturer calls an Octavator Cap, the pitch it produces is lowered by an octave. Usage Boomwhackers are often used by performance artists and other musical performance groups to add an element of spectacle. Music educators also use them extensively to teach fundamental concepts in rhythm, harmony, and melody. Their relative inexpensiveness and durability make them an excellent addition to the traditional pitched instruments such as xylophones and metallophones traditionally found in the music classroom. Usage in Group Rhythm Events Boomwhackers have become a popular tool for corporate events and festivals. They are ideally suited to audience participation and may be used in large numbers. Participants can all play together, following a leader's directions from the stage. History Boomwhackers evolved at a time when Junk Bands and performers using instruments made from recycled materials were very popular. Gas pipes or various cast-offs from plumbers were being cut to length to produce different pitches when hit on an open end by a flip flop or table tennis bat. Schools were creating their own junk bands as a cheap way to get groups performing together with an ecological message. Creating your own kit is labour intensive so onto the market came something off the shelf that was cheap and cheerful. Inventor According to the historical information on the official Boomwhackers site, American Craig Ramsell first came up for the idea for his boomwhackers in 1994 while cutting cardboard tubes into shorter lengths for recycling. He happened to notice the different pitches resulting from the different lengths and decided to investigate their creative potential. He and his partner, wife Monnie Ramsell, formed DrumSpirit as a sole proprietorship to market the tubes. The original plastic boomwhackers were first produced in 1995. The current version, which is far more durable than the earlier prototype, was released in 1997. Ramsell started Whacky Music, Inc. in 1998, marketing a wider variety of boomwhacker sets and materials. Boomwhackers are now available to span 3½ chromatic octaves. (The addition of the Octavator Tube Caps in 1999 allowed for the third lower octave.) In July, 2009 the Sedona, Arizona based Whacky Music, Inc., sold its interests to Rhythm Band Instruments LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, through an asset purchase agreement. External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Boomhwackers Video introduction to boomwhackers The one minute Boomwhacker piece This article relating to percussion instruments is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.v · d · e